Shadow Minister for Corrective Services, the Hon Peter Collier MLC, has called on the McGowan Government for answers into widespread self-harm plaguing Banksia Hill Juvenile Detention Centre.
Banksia Hill, which serves as the only youth detention facility in Western Australia, has seen a nearly 140 percent increase in incidences of self-harm since 2019 alone.
“The figures that the Minister released today show that Banksia Hill Detention Centre is an institution in crisis. The total number of young people that have self-harmed has skyrocketed from 147 in 2019 to 351 in 2021,” said Mr Collier.
“Those that have attempted suicide has increased from 2 in 2019 to 31. In addition, the number of assaults against staff has increased from 3 in 2019 to 2021 in 2021. The figures speak for themselves.
“They are a shocking indictment of neglect from the Labor Government, who were only dragged into providing additional funds to Banksia Hill because of a scathing report by the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services.”
Mr Collier called the deafening silence and inaction from the WA Labor Government an appalling display of neglect that should never have happened.
“We need institutions like Banksia Hill to be a source of early intervention for troubled youth, rather than a prequel to prisons once they hit 18.”
“The McGowan Government have proven time and again they have no idea how to handle youth in any respect, whether it be in the Department of Communities or detention.”
Banksia Hill being the only facility in the State that deals with juvenile detention between the ages of 10-17 and should be focused on rehabilitation and supporting troubled youth who find themselves breaking the law.
“Banksia Hill contains hundreds of our most vulnerable and marginalised young people.
Regardless of the fact that they are in juvenile detention, they deserve and desperately need support if they are ever going to develop resilience and self-esteem and lead productive lives post their time in Banksia Hill.
Mr Collier said the alarming figures are a testament to the ineffectiveness of the current system, leading many young people to take such dire action.
“It is evident from these figures that the system is failing hundreds of young people who see the only solution as being to take their lives,” said Mr Collier.